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H Niyazi

Cheers for this great series! I particularly enjoyed the insights into La Tintoretta, whom I've seen images of but did not know much about.

With regards to Raphael - it has been interesting to discover the degree of discrepancy between sources as to how involved he was in his fathers workshop and the particulars of his exposure to Perugino and/or Vitti. Different sources say different things, and even more recent biography volumes such as Talvacchia's still seem to fall heavily on Vasari - not always the most reliable source!


Jame E. Bryan

I appreciate you bringing this to light, and have not read Greer whom you quote, but wonder how she can possibly know that the women who engaged in artistic work did so from obligation rather than desire (note 2)? Why should we accept that their motivations were one or the other and not both? Moreover, I'm willing to bet that since the work you cite came out in 1979 a lot of evidence has been published to challenge such assertions.

Also, the idea of "talent" typically descending along patrilineal paths strikes me as highly objectionable. Occupations tended to descend from father to son in all sorts of fields in the pre-Modern world, but following your father in his line of work is not the same thing as inheriting his talent. If it did art history would be full of great masters who were the sons and grandsons of great masters. As a recent example, Alexander Calder, the inventor of the mobile, was the third sculptor with that name in his family, but we don't really celebrate his father and grandfather the way we do him.

I hope I am misreading your argument, because to me it seems to put forth a ridiculous claim that Renaissance society didn't prevent daughters from exercising their inherited talents, instead they seldom inherited it in the first place the way sons usually did.

David Packwood

Dear James,

Sorry for the delay in responding.

You are right about Greer being a bit out of date. I realized this a few hours after posting, but let it stand.

I'm aware theat the patrilineal and inheritance are complex issues. I do look at the broader meaning of inheritance in my work on Poussin, but as that's in press I couldn't use it. I might return to this topic in the renaissance after surveying recent work on the topic.

Thanks for taking the trouble to comment.


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